Colombo, Feb 15: In their World Cup warm-up match, Sri Lanka surpassed the West Indies total of 281 with 4 wickets and 15 balls to spare.
The start to Sri Lanka's innings was a blitz with openers Upal Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan laying into the Windies pacers, especially Andre Russell. After the hosts brought up their 50 in around 7 overs, spinner Suleiman Benn got the breakthrough, sending back Tharanga for 18 with the score at 67/1 in 10 overs.
Dilshan and captain Kumar Sangakkara then took their side over 100, before the former was undone by an offie from Chris Gayle, for 62 off just 50 balls, in an innings studded with 5 fours and 3 towering sixes. Sangakkara then built pacy partnerships with Mahela Jayawardene (20 off 21) and Thilan Samaraweera (55 off 56 balls), before himself perishing for 71 to Sammy.
Then after Benn removed Angelo Mathews for 5, Chamara Silva and Chamara Kapugedara took Sri Lanka to victory with 4 wickets and 15 balls remaining. Benn was by far the most successful bowler for the Windies, taking 3/40 off his 10 overs. But none of the others, with perhaps the exception of Gayle, bowled with much intent or incisiveness.
Having won the toss and deciding to bat first, the West Indies got off a shaky start. Lankan paceman Lasith Malinga cleaned up Devon Smith for a duck as the score read 3/1 in 1 over. But opener Chris Gayle hit his stride soon after and bludgeoned the Lankan bowling, racing to his 50 off 31 balls (7x4, 1x6), before Muralitharan did him in with a deceptive top-spinner.
The Windies were 88/2 in 11.4 over at that stage. Ramnaresh Sarwan and Darren Bravo kept up the impetus, sliding past 100 and then 150 in the 24th over. But then Malinga and Rangana Herath pulled things back for Lanka, as the latter removed Darren Bravo for 54 and Sarwan for 39, before Malinga struck to dismiss Chanderpaul for 16 as the Windies slumped to 204/5 in 37 overs.
Then Herath trapped Dwayne Bravo in front for 20, while Malinga took care of captain Darren Sammy for 21, reducing the Windies to 243/7 ion 45.2 overs. Then Carlton Baugh and Andre Russell helped their side sneak past 250/7 in the 47th over. A late surge from the tail ensured that the Windies reach 281 all out in their 50 overs.